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Direction From The Hill

Without trying to sound arrogant, new Sonic coach Bob Hill seems to be implementing many of the moves that have been routinely mentioned on this site.

Obviously I'm not indicating Hill reads the sites and runs his business according to what we think, but the decisions he makes seem to have an outsiders perspective versus an insider's view.

One is example is playing the youngsters. The Sonics clearly needed to play taller than we were under Weiss, and Hill comes in and instantly installs the two young centers in the starting lineup. Gone is the nervous infatuation with veteran play, and in its place is a move towards size, length, speed, activity, and the future.

Petro and Swift have vindicated the move.

They've rewarded the Sonics with more production than the position previously garnered, and Hill is monitoring the situation closely, quickly jumping down the ear drum of each youngster with each 19-year-old type mistake. As Sonic fans, it makes me feel good to know the things we're screaming at our TV sets are being verbalized by the head coach.

Putting Vladi in over Nick is a questionable move, but it's bold. Hill is making a clear statement that Radmanovic has the skills of a starting NBA player, but the kid-gloves are off and Hill is treating Radmanovic not as though he's arrived, but that he needs to arrive for the Sonics to get where the team wants to get. I like that toughness. I think Vladi can be a solid professional, but he's going to have to come with a completely different mind-set. But Hill sees that, and that's encouraging as a Sonics fan.

Give Luke the ball. I know it's easy to be critical of Ridnour right now, but the guy is still new at this, he's still young, and there are some obvious physical challenges he's going to need to learn to overcome (painfully obvious the other night against AI, but, of course, AI make a lot of guys look bad). However, Ridnour has special skills that you need in a true point guard. If those shot blocker develop behind him, he has a chance to be spectacular in the future--maybe the near future.

Hill sees that and believes.

Hill has stuck with Murray longer than any of us would, but Murray has actually started giving a legit effort on defense. He has to drive Hill batty because he's almost always out of position, but if he's going to give the effort, Hill can teach positioning. Murray would be an unbelievable talent on defense if he ever used that athleticism and physical body for the good of the cause. I'd still drive Murray to the airport today if I thought we could get Watson for him, but Hill's message and team philosophy is clearly different than the direction we were going, and maybe it can reach a player like Flip.

And lastly, this isn't the Reggie Evans show any more. How can you not love Reggie, but he's not a feature player like he was trying to be under Weiss. Hill is using Evans more judiciously and while the W's have yet to start piling up, the direction seems better.

Now, for some wins.

Go Sonics.